Wells Fargo says no to Florida candidate who supports pot

Democrat Nikki Fried says banking giant terminated her account

(Photo courtesy of Nikki Fried)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Florida candidate for agriculture commissioner says Wells Fargo terminated her campaign account because she supports medical marijuana.

Democrat Nikki Fried said Monday that the banking giant started asking questions about her platform after she joined the statewide race: Does she advocate more access to medical marijuana? Would she accept contributions from medical marijuana lobbyists?

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Fried responded in July that she herself had lobbied for medical marijuana companies, and received contributions from lobbyists. Then, just weeks before the Aug. 28 primary, Wells Fargo said it was shutting down her account, based on a review of its banking risks.

"Yes, the company that fraudulently opened fake accounts to charge extra fees, and that has taken money from literally every industry under the sun, won’t take our campaign money because they had 'uncovered some information regarding the customers {sic} political platform and that they are advocating for expanded patient access to medical marijuana.'" Fried said in an email, adding that the action is "outrageous."

Fried called on her supporters with Wells Fargo accounts to close them, because "they don't deserve your business."

Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but some banks are reluctant to do business with an industry that remains illegal under federal law.

Wells Fargo had no immediate comment on Monday.